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Diggin' It

The Transplanted Gardener: Where have all the flowers gone?

By Craig Summers Black / June 2, 2009

The Missouri Botanical Garden: Nope, no flowers. Still cool.

Photos courtesy of Craig Summers Black

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As usual, my timing was impeccable. Which is to say I made the 375-mile-trip to St. LouisMissouri Botanical Garden just in time for a garden lull.

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The bulbs were pretty much gone, and the perennials had yet to do anything of much consequence. Still, the landscape was rich and deep. So many stunning vistas, so many ideas to rip off wholesale and trundle back to my weedy acreage.

The lessons learned here were twofold:

1)    A green garden can be a thing of beauty. Which is why the Chinese and the Japanese gardens were so rewarding.

2) Structure can carry the visual weight during a timeline sans blossoms.

If you have been to Monet’s Giverny and found the garden beds as underwhelming as I did, you still have a jaw-dropping moment when you come to the famous green bridge over the lily pond.

Same thing with MoBot’s four-acre lake and its arching promenade. Here’s how the PR folks there describe the place:

“Rather than the typical garden filled with striking statuary, showy plants and flowers, the Japanese Garden is a monochromatic understatement, in which the viewer is permitted the thrill of personal interpretation and discovery.”

Kind of a lofty manner in which to say: Whoa. Cool.

And because St. Louis is about 250 miles south of my place, MoBot’s rose garden was in full bloom even though only one of my 30 or so bushes is in flower.

I’m not a big fan of ghettoizing roses as they do, but it was heartwarming to see that someone in the Midwest can have Graham Thomas [see second photo at top] thrive in their garden. Winters here have killed Graham three times, and that’s my limit for planting something.

Well, usually.

What else I’m into this week: I’m kind of late to the party on this, but I haven’t really watched TV since maybe the first season of “In Living Color.” (Remember when Jim Carrey was funny?) But the HBO show “Flight of the Conchords” is now on DVD and I’m catching up. Think: “Spinal Tap,” but hipper and funnier, if that’s possible.

Read previous posts by the Transplanted Gardener by clicking here, here, here, here, here, here, and here.

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